This was my first Romance Writers of America National Conference and I must say I left even more energized and excited to be a writer. Yes it was overwhelming but I leaned from some amazing professionals such as Madeline Hunter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meg Cabot, Steve Berry, Diana Gabaldon and Tess Gerritsen. And these were just some of the group speakers.
I learned a lot from Carolyn Grayson and Lois Winston on what my author website should have. This was very important to me because I just launched my author webpage, which you can visit here.
The Young Adult market was widely represented with Rosemary Clement-Moore, Caridad Ferrer, Kristen Nelson and Aubrey Poole talking about the market. The bottom line is that no one knows what the next been thing is, or they’d be writing it! Simone Elkeles and David Levithan spoke about writing the YA bestseller. Was very interested in seeing the creative process that Simone went into in making a book trailer that stood out.
A workshop that I really feel that I grew from was Candace Havens’ Fast Draft: How to Write Your First Draft in Two Weeks. I know it sounds crazy but so far I’m working well with her information. There even is a popular #FastDraft hastag on Twitter were writers can work together and keep each other accountable to their goals.
It was also wonderful to meet Twitter pals such as Anna DeStefano, who spoke on After the show: Key Things to Do After a Writing Conference. Honestly, if it weren’t for her, I probably would have taken a few days off once I got home. But she spoke about the importance of jumping right back into writing after the conference. I did and now I’m great progress on my current project.
Another YA topic was writing YA that sizzles, which was hosted by authors Tera Lynn Childs, Kimberly Derting and Sophie Jordan. A popular topic was what can and cannot be in YA. I think by the end, everyone agreed that whatever was written in a YA novel had to honestly serve the development of the plot and character arcs.
It was fun to meet up with my West Houston RWA chapter members prior to the Awards Banquet. Our chapter had much to celebrate. Three of our members, Kay Hudson, Sarah Andre, and Jo Anne Banker were nominated for a Golden Heart., Jo Anne won the award. Deeanne Gist was also nominated for a Rita.
I met with many agents at the conference and was excited to hear interest about my YA, which is now out on submission. I met so many wonderful writers that I’m all ready tweeting and communicating with.
Overall, the conference was productive, exhausting and inspiring. Though I returned to my little forest in Arkansas exhausted, I found myself more energized then ever and thrilled to be an author. I highly recommend that everyone attends a large writing conference throughout their writing careers. It may be overwhelming but the benefits are endless.
I have launched my official writing website. You can visit it at www.NatalieCMarkey.com Thanks to my fabulous brother for doing such a great job. Now I'm sure I'll have some new ideas after this conference :-)
Speaking of websites, Who Dares Wins Publishing has a new one. Check it out.
My non-fiction, ‘Caring for Your Special Needs Dog,’ is out. Vets will always be your first resource in pet care, but as owners, we have a lot of power in giving our dog the best possible life. It is currently selling for $2.99 with a percentage going to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.
I’m participating, as an author in The 400 Hundred Hours to Four Hundred Days blog tour. The purpose of this is to celebrate the upcoming release of L Carroll’s second book, ‘Four Hundred Days.’ A component of this tour is a social media contest. If you are interested in winning a free book read the rules below.
The goal behind this contest is to spread the word about Four Hundred Days as far as possible to as many people as possible.
Four Hundred Days is the second book in the Lor Mandela series by L Carroll. It’s a captivating trilogy.
Win Nice Girls Does Noir by Julia Crane
· Tweet “Join us on the 400 Hour to @FourHundredDays blog tour (participants add your link to this contest here)
· Leave a comment with the links.
· Facebook about the contest. (+1 entry)
· Change your Facebook Image to the 400 Hours to Four Hundred Days blog tour button for the duration of this tour. (+3 entries)
· Change your Twitter avatar to the 400 Hours to Four Hundred Days blog tour button for the duration of this tour. (+3 entries)
· Blog about this tour. (+5 entries)
· Grab the 400 hours to Four Hundred Days button and place it your blogs sidebar. (+3 entries)
· Youtube about the 400 hours to Four Hundred Days tour. (+10 entries)
As You can find more info and the 400 Hours to Four Hundred Days blog tour button at Woven Strands